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Former Wildrose president launches leadership campaign for United Conservative Party

Former Wildrose president will run to be leader of the new United Conservative Party.
Former Wildrose president will run to be leader of the new United Conservative Party. Credit: Facebook/Jeff Callaway

Jeff Callaway, the former president of Alberta’s Wildrose party, is running to be leader of the new United Conservative Party.

Members of the Wildrose and Progressive Conservatives voted last month to merge the two parties.

READ MORE: Alberta’s Wildrose, PCs agree to merge 

Callaway, a Calgary investment advisor, said he’s running for leadership in order to “energize Alberta again.”

“Today I am launching my campaign to become the leader of the United Conservative Party,” he wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday.

“I will be outlining my platform in the coming weeks, but you can rest assured that my platform will include killing the carbon tax and rolling back tax hikes.

“I can’t wait to discuss these ideas with my fellow Albertans and my fellow candidates throughout the leadership campaign.”

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LISTEN: Jeff Callaway joins Newstalk 770’s Rob Breakenridge on air as he kicks off his campaign.

READ MORE: Wildrose president steps down to run as Calgary candidate 

In April 2015, Callaway stepped down as party president to run as a candidate in Calgary North West against then-PC MLA Sandra Jansen. However, he came in third to the PC and NDP candidates.

READ MORE: UCP leadership candidate Brian Jean reveals platform

So far, former PC leader Jason Kenney, former Wildrose leader Brian Jean and conservative strategist Doug Schweitzer are campaigning to be the leader of the new party.

READ MORE: Jason Kenney announces UCP leadership bid

LISTEN: Jeff Callaway joins 630 CHED’s Ryan Jespersen 

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Earlier this month, MLA Derek Fildebrandt announced he would not join the leadership race.

READ MORE: Derek Fildebrandt advertised taxpayer-subsidized apartment on Airbnb: ‘when I have an empty house, I use AirBnB’

The former finance critic for the United Conservative Party took a leave of absence from his position after criticism swirled about him renting out his taxpayer-subsidized apartment on Airbnb.

In an e-mailed statement, Fildebrandt said: “I am scheduled to leave for a family vacation out of province tomorrow and will be taking a leave of absence from my finance duties, effective today.”